By Will Butcher
Everton are in pole position ahead of West Ham to sign Spanish right-back Jesus Gamez, according to a report.
The Atletico Madrid star has fallen down the pecking order after signing from Malaga two years ago and made only 10 La Liga appearances in 2015-16, with Juanfran being Diego Simeone’s preference.
Spanish news outlet Fichajes claim that both the Hammers and the Toffees have enquired during the past week, but believe that Everton stand a better chance of signing Gamez as they are more likely to table the required £5million.
Slaven Bilic is desperate to bring in a right-back, but has been rejected twice in the last 48 hours.
Belgium’s Euro 2016 star Anthony Meunier has joined French Champions PSG, whie free agent Gregory van der Wiel has joined Fenerbahce.
Gamez has spent his entire career in La Liga. He began with Malaga where he made 256 appearances for the club in 10 seasons before making a £2.2million switch to Atletico in the summer of 2014.
The 31-year-old only has one more year remaining on his contract at the Vicente Calderon and Atleti are expected to sell him this summer rather than risk losing him on a free.
Both Everton and West Ham have been busy in the transfer window. Bilic has brought Sofiane Feghouli and Havard Nordtveit to East London on free transfers, whilst also signing Manuel Lanzini permanently.
Ronald Koeman has brought in Marten Stekelenburg, and is thought to be close with deals for Juan Mata and Axel Witsel.
In other Everton news, Koeman has been told the fee he most pay to sign this Italian striker for the third time.